Israeli guitarist Yitzhak Klepter passes away at 72

One of Klepter's solos was rated as the greatest guitar solo in the history of Israeli music in 1997.

 Guitarist Yitzhak Klepter of the Israeli rockband Kaveret.  (photo credit: MOSHE SHAI/FLASH90)
Guitarist Yitzhak Klepter of the Israeli rockband Kaveret.
(photo credit: MOSHE SHAI/FLASH90)

The singer, composer and guitarist Yitzhak Klepter passed away on Thursday at the age of 72. Klepter is one of Israel's greatest guitarists, who burst onto the scene in the Kaveret band and went on to a glorious career in other bands and as a soloist.

Klepter was born on March 31, 1950 in Haifa and grew up in Tel Aviv. When he was an elementary school student he gave a lecture in one of the classes about the life of the former British prime minister, Winston Churchill, and since then the nickname "Churchill" has stuck with him.

At the age of 15, he founded the first band in his life, "The Churchills", but left it before it was successful. He enlisted in the army in the armored corps, but at the order of his commanders, he switched to playing in an armored corps band.

After his release from the army, he started playing in the band "Acharit HaYamim", which played progressive rock and the only record it released was considered a masterpiece, but during its activity, it was not a commercial success. One of the solos that Klepter played in this band, in the song "The Tree is Tall", was chosen in 1997, in a project by the "Ha'ir" newspaper, as the greatest guitar solo in the history of Israeli music.

Klepter joins Kaveret in 1973

 Guitarist Yitzhak Klepter of the Israeli rockband Kaveret.  (credit: MOSHE SHAI/FLASH90) Guitarist Yitzhak Klepter of the Israeli rockband Kaveret. (credit: MOSHE SHAI/FLASH90)

In 1973, Klepter accepted Danny Sanderson's invitation and joined the Kaveret band, which quickly became a great success story. Although Klepter's role in writing the band's songs was secondary, he contributed to the band the melody for the songs "She's So Beautiful" and "The Fool's Song", which he also sang, and co-wrote a number of other songs.

After the disbandment of Kaveret, Klepter joined the band "Tuned Tone" alongside Shlomo Yadov and Shem Tov Levy, where he performed the song "Tuned Tone" which became the song most identified with him, along with other songs. At the same time, in those years, he composed songs for David Broza, Gidi Gov, Yael Levy and others, which were successful.

In 1981, Klepter started a solo career when he released the record "Itzhak", from which the songs "My love is not his love" and "We met" stood out. In 1982, he teamed up with Arik Einstein and released with him the album "Sitting on the fence", in which he composed all the songs and received equal credit as a partner. A year later, Einstein and Klepter released another album, "Shavir."

In the later 80s and 90s, Klepter continued to release solo albums and write and compose songs for other artists, while at the same time participating in the Kaveret's reunion shows in 1984, 1990 and 1998.

At the turn of the millennium, Klepter began to suffer from various health problems. In 2000, Kaveret got together especially and held a fundraising show in order to raise money for him for urgent surgery. However, Klepton continued to create and perform and in 2008 released another solo album. In 2011, he was hospitalized for an extended period in Surasky Medical Center due to complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In 2013, he participated in another Kaveret union.